After a year or so of no success, we visited our general practitioner. We were concerned about my painful and debilitating menstrual cramps as well as the infertility problems we were experiencing. He believed I had cysts on my ovaries and prescribed me a medication that would help me to ovulate. A few months later, we were able to get pregnant. The urine test was negative but the blood work for my hcg levels came out positive. Dr. Wilson was concerned that I wasn't producing enough progesterone and immediately had me draw blood to find out whether or not that was the case. Sure enough, my levels were extremely low. The doctor prescribed me some oral pills and assured me that we caught everything in time and that the baby would be fine. A few days later, we told the family because we were just bursting with excitement. Getting pregnant didn't seem to turn out hard after all.
Tragically, the excitement didn't last long. My hcg levels were stagnant and late on a Saturday night, I had begun to cramp and bleed. I cried out in excruciating pain and John responded quickly with a blessing. In the blessing, the lord promised me that I would one day conceive and bare a child. I had no idea that this meant the one currently within me would die. Sunday morning a rush of blood and tissue drained from my body. I was devastated because I knew I had miscarried. John was determined that we go to the E.R. He believed that there may still yet be a miracle. The blood work showed my hcg levels dropping significantly. There would be no miracle.
At this time, I thought of several heroes of mine. All who happened to be women who were barren. I thought about their strength and wondered if I would accumulate that strength the same way. After miscarrying a few more times, we decided to go to the Circle of Life clinic. The clinic specialized in at risk births and infertility. The cost was high since our insurance didn't cover it but we felt the expense was important enough to make. Dr. Brier asked me several questions and then told me I may have endometriosis. I explained that my sister suffers from infertility and endometriosis as well and he believed that was likely the same case for me. Of course, the only way to find out was to operate with a laprascopy which we obviously could not afford. Dr. Brier gave us a large prescription for progesterone as well as a prescription to help with the infertility. We were worried about the infertility medication because we heard stories about people being denied insurance after taking it. So I orally took the progesterone as directed so to avoid miscarrying if I were to get pregnant but avoided the infertility medication.
The months passed and I was beginning to experience odd promptings to volunteer as a temple ordinance worker. I thought I was going crazy and ignored the promptings even when they were strong and identifiable. My spirituality was seriously dwindling. I didn't understand why our faith could not move the mountain of a birth. I did not understand the point of praying for blessings God already commanded me to have. It wasn't until I met with my friends Synthia and Candace, both who had recently returned from missions in South America, that I had a knock-in-the-head-revelation. One of them asked me, "What have you learned most this past year and a half while you have been married?" I sat and thought quickly and responded that I learned that I still have much to learn. In my head I was rummaging through the lessons and trials John and I had experienced and began to wonder exactly what it was that we or I had learned from them. The answer in all reality was anger. I learned to be angry at God. I went silent and listened to Candace and Synthia tell stories from their missions. Their faith and devotion absolutely bewildered me. Their missions were no cake and yet they talked as if they were the most inedible scrumptious food they had ever tasted. I couldn't help but stare at both of them. They seriously had an angel glow around their heads and I seriously felt unworthy to be in their presence.
I remember a religion professor once asked my class how one could tell where they were on the path in comparison to Christ. He had an interesting insight and suggestion that has always kind of stuck with me. He said one knows by how comfortable one feels in certain situations or with certain people. Has there ever been anyone you felt completely inadequate to talk to or be around? I know personally in college, there were several people that just had a sense of who they were and the way they lived their lives almost made me feel uncomfortable because I was not at that level. On the flip side, I had friends who had inappropriate language and were a little more sporadic in their church attendance and I felt somewhat uncomfortable spending time with them and they did with me as well. My professor said that we all tend to jump from level to level in our lives. Sometimes we are more faithful and live the life of a Celestial being and repent frequently while other times our pride makes us foolish and we find ourselves living Terrestrial or even Telestial lives. This was the case for me as I sat talking with two spiritual giants. My scripture study was meaningless and my prayers insincere: I was that foolish Terrestrial or Telestial candidate.
Ironically, even with my spirituality at the level it was at, I received another blatant prompting to volunteer at the temple. It was clear in my head and it seemed to be ringing within my body as my two beautiful friends provided the spiritual atmosphere I had needed to receive the prompting. Before I left though, I had the chance to ask Synthia and Candace how they improved their spirituality and faith. They told me some wonderful ideas and after skimming through Candace's incredible scripture journal, I knew I had a lot of work ahead of me. I went home late that night and actually had the first sincere scripture study and spiritual journal entry that I had since my first miscarriage. I was relieved that I could still get out of my spiritual crevasse and work towards earning Candace and Synthia's angel glow. That night, after repenting earnestly, I went to sleep. About every hour on the hour I woke up and heard this prompting clearly: "Go volunteer as a temple ordinance worker." I didn't understand why God had prompted me several times at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00, 5:00, 6:00, and finally about 7:00 A.M. when I had no way of doing something about it so early anyways. Still in denial and shock, I woke up and heard my mother walking above our apartment in the kitchen on the main floor. She was preparing to go on a hike and I offered to go with her so I could talk to her about my exhausting evening. She said that it sounded like I better do something about the prompting instead of ignoring it. So I decided to pray and think it out in my mind at the temple a few days later with John.
While at the temple, I specifically remember paying attention to the ages of the workers there. I don't remember seeing one as young as me, and while I was in initiatory I concluded that I was indeed crazy. No one would take me seriously if I offered to be an ordinance worker. Happy but still uneasy about my conclusion, I walked out and sitting right in front of me in the temple was Synthia. At that moment, all of my fears rushed away; I knew that the promptings I had received while talking to Candace and Synthia were from God and that I was supposed to respond with, "I will go and do Lord." So I went to the temple presidency room and said I would like to volunteer. A counselor in the presidency had me fill out a form and when I walked out of the temple I felt completely calm and at peace. Finally, after months of ignoring the prompting, I had chose the right. It wasn't long after that I received a call from the temple secretary to schedule an appointment with the Temple President. We had an appointment set for about a month in advanced because I wanted John to be there and honestly, a week was too soon for me to feel like I was ready to talk to one of God's most humble servants. I wondered again if I was crazy. I felt so out of place.
Walking into the temple for the meeting was extremely nerve wracking. I had no idea what to expect and I worried he would ask me questions about the temple that I would have no response for. They called the appointment an interview so I expected to be interviewed. Immediately, President Callister told me that he would set me apart after he talked to me about the shift work and scheduled me in two shifts. I felt so completely overwhelmed. I had put off becoming an ordinance worker for over 6 months and now I was going to be called and set apart within minutes? I was going crazy. I had to be or at least I felt I was until the temple president laid his hands softly on my head and delivered the most beautiful blessing I have ever experienced. The spirit was thick and burned within me. President Callister told me that I was predestined to do the Lord's work in the Bountiful temple at this certain time in my life. He also said that the Lord would bless me for my service and that there were choice spirits waiting to be born in our family and that we would have hundreds born from our posterity in the afterlife. He blessed my tabernacle that it would be able to withhold the physical aspects of being a temple worker and that the peace that comes from the temple would flow within me. I was crying so hard that I could barely catch my breath; I was wailing. I knew immediately that I was in the right place and I felt that peace run through me. President Callister told me that my blessing was unique and that I was a special spirit. Although I did not feel particularly special, I did feel the love of my Father. There were other interesting blessings he pronounced upon me too that we keep sacred in our hearts.
Well, I begun working at the temple on July 1st. I had never felt physically better in my life and I felt so overwhelmingly blessed. That first week of July, the blessings began to pour. John received a job at a small accounting firm that would allow him to use the experience for an internship and he no longer had to work at the grocery store. About two weeks later, John received an email from Hill Air Force Base informing him that he was still a top applicant in the position he had applied for back in January. We had had a job drought for so long that this was all shocking news to us. Especially since Hill Air Force Base never returned John's calls about whether or not they filled the position. Miraculously, out of 80 applicants, Hill Air Force Base emailed John and offered him the position.Then, of course, the greatest blessing of all was that I was late on my menstrual cycle; however, I had not been taking the progesterone that was prescribed for me because we could not afford the prescription. I usually know when I am pregnant because my cycles are extremely regular. So after about a week went by I decided I would take a urine pregnancy test on the morning of our 2nd anniversary because I was growing sick and still had no sign of cramping.
The lines were both clearly red and my face went white. At that point, I was on the verge of fainting. I had never had a clear urine pregnancy test before. I immediately went to hug John good bye to work and whispered in his ear, "I have a anniversary gift for you . . . I'm pregnant!" We were both in disbelief and utter confusion. I had used no ovulation medication as well as progesterone and sure enough I was pregnant. It was truly a miracle.
When we went to have our first ultra sound, the doctor measured the fetus and said that we were 7 weeks and 6 days along. I don't think it is a merely a coincidence that I conceived around the same week I began working at the temple. My spiritually is continuing to grow; every day I wake I can't help but think about the existence of God and the blessings he so readily has in store for us. Our child is healthy and we are further along then we have ever been before in a pregnancy. After talking to my temple adviser, we both concluded that we needed to continue to give God the credit for the miracle and thank him. She said she knew it was the blessings of the temple and inadvertently testified to me of God's power. I am so grateful to be back on God's path instead of walking away. Even though I still have so far to go in terms of personal study, I feel an outpouring of joy with the spirit I receive now. I will never go back to that dark, unfaithful road. I'm grateful for friends like Candace and Synthia, as well as other loved ones, whose shining example help remind me of that.